Plastic Bag Ban Takes First Step


By Ava Turnquest
Tribune Chief Reporter

Environment and Housing Minister Romauld Ferreira received the green light from Cabinet to put his plan to ban plastic bags in the Bahamas by 2020 into action.

Mr Ferreira confirmed a newly formed task-force met yesterday to plot the way forward with the first phase largely comprised of public consultation.

“I think this is a great move for the Bahamas,” said environmental officer Kendra Ferguson, part of the task force inclusive of environment and industry stakeholders.

“Especially the tourism sector, but in the wake of many issues we’ve been having with the landfill, this is the first step for implementing a waste management strategy. I’m so proud to be a part of this as a young Bahamian.”

In January, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold confirmed Mr Ferreira was set to make a presentation to Cabinet on the issue of banning plastic bags.

The Free National Movement vowed a “FNM government will phase out the use of plastic bags by 2020” in its election campaign manifesto.

The proposed ban was recently brought into focus through the efforts of the Bahamas Plastic Movement, an environmental non-governmental organisation.

Youth representatives from BPM travelled from Eleuthera to Nassau earlier this year to advocate for the ban and highlight the detrimental effects plastic has on the environment.

Representatives from BPM have said if the rate of plastic pollution on beaches increases, it could cause up to US $8.5 million in tourism losses annually for the country.

Rachel Chea